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Keywords: Environmental Management
Master (Environmental Management)
Le Berre Lemaire-Lyons Youna
2018/2019 EnvM
Issue Date: 2-Jan-2020
Abstract: Singapore’s maritime industry contributes 7% to Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over 100,000 vessels arrive in Singapore on an annual basis. The high volume of vessel arrivals increases the risk of incidents that may result into an oil spill. Moreover, land-based sources such as refineries and terminals are potential sources of oil spill as well. Reportedly, the production output of oil refining in Jurong Island reached 1.5 million barrels per day in 2014. Oil spills are known to have extensive environmental, social and economic impacts. Oiling of wildlife is one of the environmental impacts. Ethical and legal considerations are the main justifications for the need to prepare and respond to incidence of oiled wildlife. Ethical considerations dictate that humans have the responsibility to minimize the suffering of wildlife affected by human-induced accidents such as oil spills. Legal obligations compel responsible parties to plan for and implement oiled wildlife management. The aim of this study was to provide responses to the following questions: -What are the potential sources of oil spill in Singapore? -What are the environmental areas that are potentially exposed to oil spill? -What types of wildlife that are potentially exposed to oil spill? -Were there documented cases of oiled wildlife in oil spill incidents in Singapore? -Does Singapore have an existing oiled wildlife plan? -If there is no oiled wildlife plan, is there a need to have one in Singapore? -Are there lessons to be learned from other countries that would potentially apply to Singapore on its approach on oiled wildlife? Literature review and correspondences with relevant Government agencies and organization were conducted to gather insights on this topic. Oil spill sources and inventory of environmental areas potentially exposed to oil spill and review of notable oil spills in Singapore were investigated for context. Relevant international conventions and national legislations were revisited to gather insights on mechanisms available in managing oiled wildlife. Shipping and land-base facilities such as refineries and terminals are considered the main sources of oil spill in Singapore. Based on the review of previous oil spill incidents, it appears that invertebrates are more impacted as compared to birds, mammals and reptiles. From the perspective of oil spill preparedness, it appears that Singapore has the framework set-up properly in addressing and managing oil spill impacts including handling of oiled wildlife that fits the context of its unique environmental areas (such as marine and coastal habitats) which are potentially exposed to oil spill. In lieu of oiled wildlife plan are protection and clean-up plans cater to the habitat-centric approach in prioritizing environmental sensitive areas at risk and mitigating the impacts of the oil spill if the said areas are affected by the oil spill. The differences in the habitat and biodiversity make-up of a country would be a main consideration on implementing the approach on oiled wildlife response. Singapore’s habitat-centric approach appears more appropriate as compared to other countries’ species-centric approach. By being Party to relevant international conventions, there is an appropriate regulatory framework that would address the issues on clean-up and restoration of environmental sensitive areas affected by an oil spill incident and oiled wildlife capture, treatment and rehabilitation. Clean-up and restoration of affected areas would be applicable to habitat-centric approach. While there is a level of adequacy on managing oiled wildlife however more could be done on the aspect of adopting oiled wildlife management practices from other countries to improve the current approach, consider marine areas where dispersants are not allowed to be used for protection of corals, establishing more protected areas, protection of invertebrates, training and awareness of responders and volunteers on clean-up of sensitive habitats and institution of law on EIA. The intention of these recommendations is to have a step progress on protecting not only the species of wildlife but the habitat itself where the wildlife thrives as part of addressing an oil spill incident. These recommendations recognize that protecting the habitat is as important as protecting wildlife species since protection of the habitat would consequently lead to protection of the wildlife species.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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